Friday August 17 2018
Leonardo: ‘Never talked for SMS’

Milan technical director Leonardo confirms “there was never a negotiation” for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Despite the director making it clear that the Rossoneri couldn’t afford the Serbian, he was nonetheless repeatedly linked with a move.

Some outlets speculated on a €40m loan with an option to buy next summer, but there were never any real talks.

“There was never a negotiation,” Leonardo said in today’s Press conference, as the club presented Diego Laxalt and Samu Castillejo.

“I talked to his agent, [Mateja] Kerman, but we’ve had a relationship for many years. There was never a negotiation, partly because we knew it was something that isn’t feasible right now.

“He costs a lot and doesn’t fit with our parameters. Our operations were all linked to exits and it wasn’t easy.

“In terms of assets we have one more now, and in terms of salaries we’ve maintained what was already there.

“The arrival of Laxalt was linked to Lapadula’s sale. We’re happy with the result, the squad is balanced.”

André Silva moved to Sevilla on loan with an option to buy, but it’s been suggested that there is effectively a ‘masked’ obligation.

“There’s nothing masked, we present our contracts exactly as they are and nothing is hidden.

“The operation with [Gonzalo] Higuain is a loan with an option, as it is for [Tiemoue] Bakayoko and André Silva.

“It’s a very common formula for a number of reasons, especially as we’re starting a path with new owners and this allows us to make choices this year.”

Leonardo was also asked about the Scudetto race, with many pundits predicting an eighth title in a row for Juventus.

“It’s not that obvious. All cycles end one day, and Juventus will be very focused on the Champions League.

“Inter have strengthened in an important way and Roma can keep pace as they did before. Lazio did well last year, Napoli have [Carlo] Ancelotti and we’re competitive too.

“Serie A’s appeal is growing again, even if it’s worth less economically than La Liga right now.”

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